Trump as Speaker of the House...need not even win an election

As I said in one of the other threads on this topic, the one positive of the Republican Caucus making Trump Speaker would be the look of existential despair on Kevin McCarthy’s face as the one goal he’s worked for his entire career and sold his political soul for is effortlessly taken from him by the monster he helped make.

Could Dems use the threat of this as motivation to get out and vote… to keep the Republicans from taking back the House?

“If you don’t vote, he could come back from the grave!”

Wow, that could be an even bigger trainwreck than trump as President. Because unlike the office of President (at least as practiced by trump, with his hours upon hours of blocked-out “executive time”), don’t Speakers actually like, have to do actual work, and know something about the actual workings of government?

And as for the other House Repubs using him as a puppet, I agree with others that he’s not much good as a puppet, other than nominating Federal judges whispered in his ear because he sure wasn’t going to do his own research on that. Too much of a loose cannon, on a sinking ship in stormy seas. He was a puppet for the Russians mostly just inasmuch as they successfully got the bull into the china shop.

I don’t think the Secret Service would allow any member of congress to bring a gun into the chambers when the president was there.

It won’t happen for the same reason that it’s never happened before. Anyone capable of whipping the votes of the party sufficiently to get Trump named speaker is also going to be able to whip the votes sufficiently to get himself named Speaker. Every member of the House hopes to someday himself hold that position, and so they all have a vested interest in preserving the tradition. And when it’s a question of whether a politician, especially a Republican politician, will vote in their own interest or for what their constituents want, bet on their own interest, every time.

In order to be half-way competent, sure. In the case of a hypothetical Speaker Trump, I imagine he’d do much the same as he did as President. He’d farm out as much of the actual grind work as possible to staffers and the rest of the Congressional leadership (House Majority Leader, House Majority Whip, Assistant Speaker, Republican Caucus Chair). He’d reserve the high profile, public duties for himself. I’m betting the vast majority of the time, he wouldn’t bother to actually preside over the House, and leave that to a deputy.

Which, of course, would create the standard toxic, Trumpian incentives. Those staff and leadership positions would carry a lot more power and independence of action that they usually would, as long as Trump isn’t paying attention. The price would be obsequious toadying in public and private, and random policy reversals and public humiliation when Trump briefly decides something is an important issue and wants to throw his weight around.

Which, of course, would result in continuous staff turnover, toxic in-fighting, and administrative chaos. But he’ll just blame all of the problems of his Speakership on the hostility of the Democrat Caucus in the House and incompetence and hostility from the Senate and the President.

Except that clearly every Congressman doesn’t vote for themself for Speaker. If I’m a backbencher with no clear path to the Speakership, but I’m in a Trumpian district with heavy Trumper turnout in the primaries, it’s a very different sort of calculation. Or if I want to turf out a sitting Republican by being Trumper Than Thou, I might well run on a pledge to vote for Trump as Speaker.

The plan to install Trump before 2022 is Underpants Gnomes levels of dumb, though. Dumber. The magical handwaving is Step 1. You see, Real Americans will reveal Nancy Pelosi’s involvement in the Democrat/liberal/communist/fascist/atheist/Satanist/crypto-Catholic/anti-Catholic/Black Power/white supremacist/gay/pedophile conspiracy. That will flip the Congressional Black Caucus and other Democratic constituencies. Pelosi and her gang will be expelled from the House, and a new Speaker elected - Trump!

Once we get to 2022, I’m not as complacent. I don’t think there will be enough hard-core Trumpists to make him Speaker even if Republicans take control of the House. But I also didn’t think there were enough Trumpists to allow him to win the Republican nomination, or enough Trumpists to allow him to win the Presidency, and yet…

If Trump were to announce that he wants to be Speaker (which I think is extremely unlikely but I’m playing along with the hypothetical) it wouldn’t be a matter of “whipping the votes.” House Republicans would fall over themselves trying to be the one to officially nominate him for the post. If it’s a narrow Republican majority he might not get the gavel due to a handful of Republican defectors, but the overwhelming majority of the caucus would vote for him. These are the same House Republicans who voted 138-64 to decertify Pennsylvania’s electors based on nothing and just hours after a Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

And they would do so because it is in their interest to do so. Speaker Trump would only last for a couple years before he gets bored or keels over. Any ambitious House Republican can afford to wait that long. Opposing him would draw his wrath and almost certainly result in a strong primary challenge. There may some respect for Liz Cheney on this board, but she’s almost certainly toast next year.

Trump as speaker would only last for a couple of years, but the precedent of Trump as speaker would last forever. That’s what no member of the House wants to face. They might take some steps they can point to to brag to idiots who don’t understand the process, but when the rubber hits the road, they won’t vote for him.

Setting terrible precedents didn’t seem to have given most Republican Members of Congress much pause in their dealings with Trump during his presidency. The majority of them don’t want to investigate his role in sending a mob to physically attack them, and forcing them to flee the chamber. If they see it as being in their short-term political interests to vote for Trump as speaker, I don’t think “bad precedent” is going to give any of them pause.

Plus, there are going to be Republican Members of Congress who are genuine Trumpists. The rank and file of the Republican Party has been largely transformed into Trumpists. It seems bizarre to me to assume Republican elected officials are somehow immune to this.

Maybe, but I think you’re thinking longer term than the average House Republican can afford to. If this all came to pass, there would be a recorded vote to name Donald J. Trump as Speaker of the House. Any Republican who voted “no” would never get a chance to vote for another Speaker because their political career would be ended in their next primary.

Is the Secret Service in the habit of frisking Congresscritters when the President speaks to them?

Nah, they’d just use some procedural detail to block the vote, or an anonymous vote, or just lie to their constituents and say they did vote for him when they didn’t. All they need to do is fool absolute idiots into thinking they voted for Trump. They don’t need to do it.

Please write this into a movie script. I’d pay to go see it. There hasn’t been a decent film out about political intrigue for a long time.

Problem is, Trump may actually have beaten you to the punch and is already planning this. He gets Secret Service protection so maybe they wouldn’t check him for weapons. Or he could choke them to death with one of his ties.

Of all the supposed skills the trump fanclub seems to think he has, the ability to fire a gun accurately, let alone tie-garrotting seems the most laughable.

Edit: so yes, I’d watch this comedy too.

Seeing that he’d be sitting right next to and behind them respectively, I doubt he’d need to be Carlos Hathcock.

He’d also need to be not a dribbling idiot. Have you seen him try to drink water?

If a non-congressman is elected Speaker, wouldn’t some rules have to be changed in order for the Speaker to have the same rights and privileges as the elected members? For one silly example, would said Speaker qualify for the same health care plan as the elected ones? Office space and staff on the federal tab?

Would not Trump also have to basically have impeached (or kill) both at the same time, for if one is removed the other can appoint the new VP basically right away?

No. Under the 25th Amendment, the President selects a VP, but the VP has to be confirmed by a majority vote in both the House and the Senate.

And the “plan” is that both Biden and Harris are impeached and removed at the same time, anyway.